Aug 9, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Mr Speaker, once a sycophant, it’s costly trying to be your own man

The fragile nature of Tanzania’s rule has once again come to the fore, and the struggles are once again taking on an intensity few can understand.

A little stint in the immediate past will come to us It is useful when we try to understand how we came to our current situation.

John Pombe Magufuli, who was president for five years and several months until March last year, was a loner who let his mostly unconditional Followers believe he is some kind of savior who can save them from Covid-19 and “bring them prosperity”. They actually believed – and even he believed himself – that he was invincible.

That was until March of last year – the exact date remains shrouded in mystery – when Pombe turned out to be only mortal, and his place became Taken over by Samia Suluhu Hassan, the first woman to be named President of the United Republic of Tanzania. History has been made and we all sat up and watched and listened.

Almost a year has passed since this transition, and the country is still taking its steps on the new path of a post-Magufuli reality, no one is sure where the journey is headed.

There is a heavy legacy on this land, which literally emerged from the five years of a Magufuli presidency that at the same time bombed the illusory “development” of the population Roads, bridges and dams, drove the country into a gulag where political disagreement was anathema, the top man’s word was sacrosanct, and those who disagreed were shot or disappeared.

In five tough Years ago, Magufuli managed to ban dissenting opinions, be it in his own ruling party, the CCM, or in the opposition parties, whose actions he banned, although it was not known how he did so by the constitution sanctioned political parties and the laws of the country.

The important thing here is that while h As his opponents were smothered within the recognized political opposition, his own CCM hierarchy felt the heat as well as they did theirs Could not raise their voices to express their dissatisfaction with Magufuli’s decisions that had violated the wishes of his own party.

No wonder, then, that many of his decisions after his death prompted renewed resistance within his own party bumped, people in positions known to be too scared to touch with a ten foot pole when pombe was at the helm Why? The man was just dead, and dead presidents can’t bite anyone, can they?

No, they can’t possibly do that. But new ones can certainly do it, and the new president in the form of Samia could easily have been mistaken for toothless and thus checked for graininess.

For some reason, which is still unfathomable to me, Samia was elected by the spokesman for the Union Parliament who had proven so lithe all along before the executive that many saw him as the government poodle.

Why did he choose to cross his little horns with Samia’s? there is still no one to be suspected about the subject he has chosen. Some people say he fished for something to confront Samia just to test her courage and feel the ground for future engagements.

Job Ndugai has retained the president because of her decision International credit borrowing, credit institutions attacked, the speaker indicated that the government’s lending policy would soon expose the whole country to “sale”.

The President’s reaction was quick and sharp and spoke well before one published session, which was broadcast live, the major networks condemned the speaker as someone who did not help her in her efforts to “bring development” to the country and insisted that she had no choice but to herself under the circumstances lending money to the economy she inherited.

She sounded sore, if that is the right word, suggesting that Ndugai’s attack was a stab in the back, suggesting the attack fe received from the opposition were more honorable than “these attacks from your own people”.

After the blistering attack, it was clear that Ndugai had ended his course, at least for the moment. The dogs were outside now, barking for his blood. Some Young Turks have been on social media and expressed their willingness to replace him as a spokesperson. He tried to apologize, but his apologies sounded weak and insincere.

In a few days he resigned, ending the sad tenure of a speaker who had made his career stamping leadership decisions on Magufuli, but forgot to continue his attitude under Samia. He paid for his bootlicking inconsistency.

A number of lessons must be learned from this episode, but many questions will remain unanswered.

In the coming weeks, experts will ponder the inexplicable Actions of a man who, while so indebted to the executive as to ignore his duties as head of the legislature, was too ignorant of how sycophany works in systems like ours: If you’re a sycophant, it’s expensive to be try to be his own man.

The fat lady has not yet sung.

Jenerali Ulimwengu is now on YouTube via jenesalionline tv. Email: [emailprotected]